You've seen it many times on cop shows. The hunter out in the wilderness finds some old bones. A fisherman reels in part of a decomposed body. It's been the start of many police procedurals from "NCIS" to "CSI". And according to Missouri Missing, there's truth to that plot device. Observant outdoor enthusiasts solve missing person cases.

Missouri Missing urges those who engage in outdoor activities: hunters, boaters, fishermen, bikers, joggers to be observant of their surroundings and report anything that seems out of the ordinary or out of place. For example, clothing could be covering human bones. An abandoned car could contain a dead body or clues to where a missing person might be. Personal items like jewelry, a watch, or a cell phone could also be clues. Or part of a crime scene.

Missouri Missing says hunters and other people engaged in outdoor activities cover more ground than families and authorities do when searching. So what should you do if you see something that doesn't seem right? Missouri Missing says to tag the area, but don't disturb it. Walk away from the area the same way you entered the area. Notify authorities, and if possible stay until they arrive.

Over the years a deer hunter, mushroom hunters, and dog walkers have helped solve missing cases because they found clues or the missing person.  More information on being observant while you're engaged in outdoor activities can be found here. And more information on the services Missouri Missing provides for the families of missing persons can be found here.

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